White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - Chapter 5: Andrew Jackson's Cracker Country: The Squatter as Common Man Summary & Analysis

Nancy Isenberg
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Summary

Isenberg begins this chapter by describing the mounting uncertainty that surrounded westward expansion in the late 1700 and early 1800s. A vast quantity of land was up for grabs, and it was attracting a new type of poor white- the squatter. While the definition of the squatter varied from region to region, the underlying principles of the squatter mirrored those that have been present in poor vagrants since the beginning of colonization. The term squatter and its counterpart, cracker, became slang for landless migrants. These groups were openly referred to as lazy, dangerous, and expendable.

The newly acquired western and southern territories were prone to large class disparities like those seen in Virginia. Wealthy landowners and lawmakers were one in the same. The infamous squatter was granted no room for upward social mobility, as the new...

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This section contains 1,111 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Study Guide
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